These gentle-ministers no doubt come in peace and mean well.
The powers that be should solve the present education/VISA mess, Indian govt should allow private sector and foreign direct investment (FDI) in higher education, UK govt should permit Indian executives to get a hassle-free VISA. Goodwill will be generated only if both sides accommodate each other in a fair handed manner.
The whole world watched India undertake the largest election in the
history of mankind, and we have not stopped watching. Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s historic victory and his bold plans for India’s future
have grabbed the world’s attention.
The Indian people have given their government a mandate for change
and for reform that could be transformational and the United Kingdom
stands ready to partner with India to realize your prime minister’s
vision of growth and development, benefitting all Indians and releasing
more of this nation’s immense potential.
That is why, as the British
foreign secretary and chancellor of the exchequer, we are here in India
this week as a team to build on the partnership between our two
We already have a deep and important relationship, but it could be
even stronger. That is why our government has made a determined effort
to strengthen the foundations of our partnership over the past four
years. It is why we have made more than 50 ministerial visits to India,
why we have strengthened our diplomatic network and why we put new
energy into increasing trade and investment.
This effort is bearing fruit for both countries: our bilateral trade
is now almost 50% higher than it was in 2009; UK companies are the
biggest investors in India; and, over the last few years Indians have
invested more in the UK than European Union countries put together.
We are visiting India this week because we want to work with Prime
Minister Modi’s government to build on those ties, to back his plan for
economic development and to strengthen our partnership on the world
stage. As India pursues a wide-ranging programme of change, we believe
Britain has something to offer across the board.
First, our bilateral trade and investment has huge potential for
further growth. British companies still sell less to India than they do
to Switzerland, a country 150th the size. This has to change, and there
is a new drive for trade in the British economy: we are growing faster
than almost any other western country, we are massively increasing
support for exporters and we have made our business environment even
We want to see more Indian companies coming to Britain, following in
the footsteps of the likes of Tata. We want to help India access
international markets for investing in infrastructure.
We want British firms who built the infrastructure for the London
Olympics to help build the 100 new cities Prime Minister Modi is
planning, our world-leading transport companies to help develop your new
roads, railways and ports, and our defence and aerospace companies to
help bring India more cutting-edge technology, skills and jobs.
Second, we believe we should strengthen our educational ties because
we both benefit from the flow of ideas and expertise, and from the
understanding and contacts our students and researchers develop.
The UK has welcomed almost 1,00,000 Indian students to our
world-class educational institutions in the last five years and
thousands of researchers and academics. We are clear: there is no limit
to the number of qualified Indian students who can study at British
universities and no limit to the number that can work in graduate
We have now allocated £50m through our Newton Fund for joint research
with India to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, from
sustainable water supply to renewable energy to public health; and we
will continue to look for opportunities to build up our educational
Third, we want to strengthen our cooperation in development and in
foreign policy. Together we can do more to advance our shared interests,
from tackling terrorism to addressing climate change to building
India wants a secure environment abroad in which to pursue
development at home and the UK through our diplomatic and defence
capabilities and our membership of the UN Security Council, Nato and EU,
can help find solutions that work for us both to problems that affect
We are deeply concerned over the kidnapping of Indian citizens in
Iraq and we want to work more closely together to address the many
challenges of an unpredictable and unstable world. To help us do this,
we want an expanded UNSC with a permanent seat for India.
The UK has had a steady purpose over the past four years: to
strengthen ties with India for the long term. This week we will be
pursuing that goal in our meetings with business leaders, civil society,
with Prime Minister Modi and with external affairs minister Sushma
Swaraj and finance minister Arun Jaitley.
We want to build on the advances we have already made, to support
your new government’s clear and ambitious plans for the future, and to
give a new impetus to this special relationship that can be one of the
great partnerships of the 21st century.
* how we spell like a teenage girl